An arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Denton County and in surrounding counties, including Parker, Wise, and Cooke, usually involves some fairly harsh penalties. However, the nature of the offense becomes even more serious if the alleged offender is accused of driving with an alcohol concentration or blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15 or greater.
A higher BAC can result in increased fines, longer terms of imprisonment, and steeper annual surcharges. Prosecutors will often pursue maximum punishments in these cases, making it critical for alleged offenders facing these types of DWI charges to immediately seek the help of skilled legal counsel.
Denton County DWI with BAC over 0.15 Lawyer
Did you have an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher when you were arrested for DWI in Denton County? You will want to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, as you only have 15 days to request an administrative license suspension hearing to get your license back.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy helps clients in the greater Lewisville area, including such communities as Denton, Little Elm, Argyle and Flower Mound. Call (940) 222-8004 right now to set up a free, confidential consultation that will let our firm review your case.
Denton County DWI with BAC over 0.15 Overview
- How are these charges determined?
- What are the possible consequences if a person is convicted?
- How does the deep lung device requirement work?
- Does an alleged offender have any defenses in these cases?
Denton County Charges for DWI with BAC over 0.15
Texas Penal Code § 49.04 defines DWI as a person being intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Intoxicated can mean that the alleged offender either has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more or does not have the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.
Alcohol concentration is commonly referred to as BAC, with the level most often determined by a breath test. However, alcohol concentration is defined under Texas Penal Code § 49.01 as being the number of grams of alcohol per any of the following:
- 67 milliliters of urine
- 100 milliliters of blood
- 210 liters of breath
Texas High BAC DWI Penalties
Traditionally, a person’s first DWI arrest would be classified as a Class B misdemeanor. However, the charge is elevated to a Class A misdemeanor if the alleged offender has an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more.
This means that many possible punishments can be even more severe. Some of the consequences of a conviction may include:
- Fine of up to $4,000
- Up to one year in prison
- Up to one-year suspension of driver’s license
- Annual Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Driver Responsibility Surcharge of $2,000 for three years
- Community supervision
- Up to 200 hours of community service
- Mandatory DWI school and alcohol or drug education program
- Additional court and administrative costs
- Installation of deep-lung device (DLD) or ignition interlock device (IID) for one year
Ignition Interlock Device Requirements in Denton County
Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 17.441, a judge may order an alleged repeat DWI offender to install a device using a deep-lung breath analysis mechanism that prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle if alcohol is detected in the breath of the operator to be installed on every automobile the alleged offender either owns or regularly drives. However, a person who has been charged with DWI while having an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or greater is considered a “high-risk driver” and can also be required to install a deep lung device (DLD) or ignition interlock device (IID) on his or her applicable motor vehicle.
The court may require this installation from an alleged first-time DWI offender accused of having a BAC of 0.15 or higher as a condition of any of the following:
- Community Supervision
- Occupational Driver’s License
Alleged offenders not only have to pay out of their own pockets to have these devices installed, but there are also monthly fees and regularly required calibration. Failure to install a DLD or IID or properly calibrate the devices can result in the alleged offender being held in contempt.
Defenses to Denton County Charges of Driving with High BAC
As is the case with most DWI arrests, a knowledgeable lawyer will immediately examine some of the most common aspects of these cases that can result in cases being dismissed. Some examples of weaknesses with a prosecutor’s case might include lack of probable cause, police procedural errors, or arrests occurring on private property.
For cases in which an alleged offender is accused of driving with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more, an attorney will pay particular attention to possible errors that might have been made in conducting chemical testing. Some common examples of defenses that may arise in these types of cases may include, but are not limited to:
- Intoxilyzer 5000 or breath test device not properly calibrated
- Police failure to conduct observation period
- Other substance increased presence of alcohol in alleged offender’s mouth
- Breath test operator was not certified
- Malfunctioning Intoxilyzer 5000 or breath test device
- Improper operation of Intoxilyzer 5000 or breath test device
- Failure to use tamper-proof seal on blood sample
- Blood sample contaminated by antiseptic or disinfectant
- Equipment used to draw blood sample not sterilized
- Plasma or serum level inaccurately reported as whole blood level
- Decomposition of blood sample produced false positive
- Testing or clerical error of urine sample
Find the Best DWI with BAC over .15 Lawyer in Denton, Tx | Law Office of Richard C. McConathy
If you have been charged with having an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or greater when you were arrested for DWI in Denton County, you should be sure to get the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy helps people in and around Lewisville, including Grapevine, Westlake, Highland Village and The Colony.
Richard C. McConathy and Brian A. Bolton have both been named Rising Stars by Texas Monthly magazine. They will provide a thorough evaluation of your case and begin developing the strongest possible legal defense for your case when you call (940) 222-8004 to schedule a free consultation.